To move forward and learn quickly, we must consider all social activity as a scientific experiment, potentially risky, but on which one can make a decisive discovery. Since it can be sub-optimal and dangerous to apply protocols to a large population that have never been experimentally validated on a small scale, the following strategy may be adopted:
Divide the population into two complementary cohorts
Cohort 1: A fraction of the population, volunteering, participates in the presental experiments, applying known best practices, as well as new ones, designed to enhance their safety.
Cohort 2: The other faction engages in distancing activities, including rigorous observation and scientific analysis of the experiments of the former, based on the structured data it agrees to share.
For example, in schools and professional settings where many clusters have been observed, the default distance mode can be used. Presential experiments may be permitted in limited numbers on the basis of the volunteering of participating families, students and staff and with the control of many parameters that may explain the risk (CO2, density, time and speech intensity, type of ventilation, arrangement of people in relation to windows, etc.).
As the experiences of the first cohort are validated, the number of the presential cohort will increase and the distance cohort will decrease.
Some of the benefits of this strategy
1. Contamination is stopped in the most risky contexts.
2. You quickly learn how to work without contaminating yourself.
3. Knowledge and solutions are exportable and transferable to other viral threats.